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Love, Process, and Letting Go: What I Learned as My Daughter Made Valentines

“It will take one hundred years!” I said a bit (okay, a lot) immaturely to my 5 year-old daughter mimicking her usual phrase. She wanted to trace, cut out, decorate, and write names on 19 homemade heart-shaped valentines for her nursery school classmates. Wanting to avoid the time, imagined tears of frustration (hers and mine!), and perceived stress, I proposed I at least cut them out. I pictured hearts made with nice smooth scissor edges. That proposal was shot down. I hung out cleaning the kitchen instead, until it was painfully obvious I was not needed at all. Sometime later that afternoon, I was proven totally wrong. Those 19 valentines were done. My heart felt so full seeing them on the table after watching her plug away undaunted by the task at hand. These pieces of paper, which I doubt     . . . read more

Is Striving Keeping You from Thriving?

Do you hold yourself to high standards? Do you value quality work and good follow through from others? Do you expect the same of yourself? I can relate. I spent much of my life through early adulthood gripping white knuckled to these values. What were supposed to be the glory days of college carried a lot of extraneous stress and pressure to perform well academically at the expense of enjoying the experience as a whole. I found that there is a cost to the pursuit of perfection. Holding yourself to the highest standards all the time creates a great amount of stress and anxiety. Perfectionism can quickly lead to self criticism and difficulties in accepting and valuing yourself just for being you. It can also lead to difficulties in relationships. Ever notice that you hold those you care most about to exceptionally high standards as     . . . read more

Do You Need to Be Right?

The motivation is clear: it can feel so good, so powerful to be “right.” But is it really worth it? What do you gain? The truth is: you can pursue being right but at the cost of being unhappy. Basically, if you approach conversations, dialogue, or arguments with the intention to “win” or “be right” you are playing a lonely game. How we interact with others is not a sport. You can’t win, but you can certainly lose the relationship. Every interaction is a chance to connect or disconnect, to step towards understanding or discord. If you treat your interactions as a chance to “one up” another person, you are fundamentally missing the point. You will continue to create disconnection- even if you feel you have “won.” You have to decide what’s actually important- do you want to be right or     . . . read more

Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

Yesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk:  I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it? It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall     . . . read more

Mind Your Own Business, For Your Own Sake

I spend a lot of my day encouraging people to bravely and effectively speak their truths, which makes it a little weird to have this post devoted to the following message: There are lots of times when you should really shut up. I believe our words, time, emotions, and energy are all important resources that are to be used wisely. However, it is increasingly commonplace for folks to comment on just about everything people do. Maybe it’s because you can literally comment freely on social media. But, I don’t really care why. It’s a ridiculous waste. And it’s unhealthy. Some examples that really irk me are based on my own life experience… It’s weird to me that so many people are down on pregnant women for (gasp) exercising during their pregnancies. Maybe they are continuing to run or do CrossFit, because     . . . read more